Conviction overturned in 2004 dragging death of Bloomington man

Dec 28, 2007 | Posted by: roboblogger | Full story: WNDU-TV South Bend

The Monroe County Prosecutor says he will ask for a rehearing after the Indiana Court of Appeals overturned the conviction of a woman who was sentenced to eight years in prison for the 2004 dragging death of a ... via WNDU-TV South Bend

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1 - 4 of 4 Comments Last updated May 26, 2008

“Aspiring Photo Journalist”

Since: Dec 07

Bloomington

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#1
Dec 29, 2007
 
Prosecutors say Misty Evans had been drinking before she hit 21-year-old Jesse Reuben Jacobs with her car and dragged him to death. Evans says she thought she had hit a deer. Being incapacitated to the point to where you do not know the difference between a human and a deer might suggest a relatively high alcohol content in the blood. Indiana laws for crimes committed under the influence of alcohol and illegal drugs are very clear;
A person who causes serious bodily injury to another person when operating a motor vehicle: with an alcohol concentration equivalent to at least eight-hundredths (0.08) gram of alcohol per: while intoxicated; commits a Class D felony and are subject to prosecution under the law.

The court of appeals overturned the conviction of the dragging death of (name) in which Misty Evans, the defendant, was convicted to eight years in prison on the grounds that the defendantís attorney should have objected to improper instructions given to the jury. Jesse Reuben Jacobs of Bloomington the victim was only twenty-one years old. How many times have we seen crimes go unpunished because of a loop hole or a technicality? Monroe County Prosecutor Chris Gaal says he will request a rehearing before the court of appeals and seek a transfer of the case to the Indiana Supreme Court. If the decision isn't overturned, Gaal says he'll seek a new trial in this case.
rebecca

Rancho Cucamonga, CA

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#3
Mar 19, 2008
 
J_steele,

Thank you for your post. I am the sister of Reuben, the victim in this case. It is has been so difficult to not only lose a loved one in this fashion, but also to have to endure a trial for a second time.

During the first trial, Misty Evans' family responded to my family like we were the guilty party. On several occasions they stepped on members of my family's feet, and never said "excuse me" or "sorry." In fact, they never once told us that they were sorry for our loss, or that this tragedy occurred.

My family is truly sickened and appalled by the displayed lack of remorse, morals, and integrity on Misty Evans' part. Prior to the sentencing, I had been consumed by the thought of Misty Evans and what I would eventually say to her. I was overwhelmed by my feelings regarding her and what, in detail, she had done to my brother. It wasn't until after the sentencing that I was truly able to mourn the loss of Reuben.

The idea of a retrial has reopened a wound that will never quite heal completely, but hurts so much in the meantime. I pray that justice will be done. Reuben and my family need to rest. Thank you.
Bloomington Watcher

Bedford, IN

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#4
May 13, 2008
 
Knowing the Evans family I would like to say a few words,
Rebecca, I am deeply hurt for you loss. Losing a sibling is something I had hoped no one else would ever have to know.

In regards to Misty Evans, she was drink and then she DROVE. She hit a human being and didn't even get out to look. Opening your car door to have a brief glance does not constitute actually checking out anything. I have a feeling she was so inebriated she didn't even stop.

Another aspect I would like to bring up is one towards her character and the ""family structure"" she raises her own children in.(I use those in 'super' quotes being that there is no family structure) Having interacted with her children and her family as a whole it is pitifully clear that hear nor her spouse have any accountability for their actions, deeds or responsibilities. This shows through as clear as glass when you meet her children. They care nothing for any one else other than themselves. The best way to gain insight into a persons parenting, personal behavior is to examine their children.

I guess thats really all I have right now, it was a bit of a rant. I've had these feelings about this family even before Misty's selfish and negligent acts has turned her into a murderer.

-Watcher.
Mark

Baldwin Park, CA

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#5
May 26, 2008
 
I am one of many that attended every day of the trial and sentencing of Misty Evans.

Evidence actually presented to the jury was far less than existed.

Evans was able to avoid conviction of driving under the influence of alcohol/drugs because she fled from the scene before blood evidence could be obtained.

She was represented by competent counsel before an extremely fair and tolerant Judge. This Judge allowed the jury to make their decision, and then only during sentencing, made it clear that her testimony was not believable.

Misty Evans admitted that she stopped her car, got out and looked for the "deer" she thought she had hit (hard enough to deploy the airbags). When she didn't see anything or anyone, she got back into her car and drove away. Her car drove "normally" after hitting the "deer".

What she left out was that Reuben, over 6' tall, had been trapped/entangled in and under her passenger's side front wheel and was still there when she "looked and saw nothing". She drove forward, pushing Reuben up the road for some distance before he passed completely beneath her car and was left, lifeless, in the road. The physical evidence made this sequence clear: hit, stop, push, and pass under.

Both the Trooper investigating this crime and the Judge agreed that her car could not have driven "normally" as she pushed Reuben up the road and then under her car as Evans had claimed. Anyone who has had anything caught under their car knows the difference. But she couldn't admit it, or wouldn't.

Now, Evans has been released from prison (as I understand it for a second time, the first to be with her ailing mother). Evans wants a different judge, probably because the trial Judge saw her for what she was and did. But that Judge absolutely afforded her a fair trial. And jury instructions are not secret from either the Prosecution or defense prior to their reading. Was her attorney "incompetent"? Was this the same attorney that successfully argued her appeal?

So now Evans can be at home with her family while she awaits further judicial decision.

Does the Jacobs family have such luxury? No! Reuben's Mother, Father, Brother, Sister, Daughter, Grandmother, Aunts, Uncles, and Cousins don't have the luxury of seeing him on 'visiting days'.

The loss of Reuben can only be described as devastating. And I never met him, but wish I had. But I have witnessed the toll that this has taken on his family. That toll is many times greater than an 8 year prison term (especially a women's prison in Indiana, not exactly Pelican Bay). Eventually, her term would have ended.

Justice... justice would have been at least a manslaughter conviction resulting in a sentence of more than 8 years in prison. Not a medical release and an overturned conviction on a technicality.

I can only hope and pray that justice will ultimately prevail in this matter. So often the trial becomes a matter of 'compassion for the living suspect' instead of 'justice for the victim'. As time passes, juries seem to be less sympathetic toward the victim and more benevolent toward the suspect.

From my 25 years of experience in law enforcement, investigating crimes,interviewing the innocent and the guilty, and seeing them through trial, Misty Evans is no different than any other criminal causing the death of another person. She minimizes her involvement and responsibility. She expressed concern only for herself and refuses to accept responsibility for her actions (even when the physical evidence is overwhelming). When they cannot escape conviction, only then do they admit their actions and plea for mercy.

Evans will remain guilty despite these most recent actions. She killed Jesse Reuben Jacobs in a brutal manner and left him alone in the road. Sober, drunk or high on cocaine... she did it. There is no question about that.

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